"109 needs constant rudder pressure to fly straight?
This is interesting subject, with much disinformation floating around. Take a moment to read there two quotes:
Me 109 G:
"The first 30 of the Me 109 G-2s (delivered to Finnish Air Force 1943) were delivered right from the factory production line. After that the delivered planes were more or less used, they were rebuilt. Also the first of the G-6s (delivered in 1944) were new, then later deliveries were rebuilds. The Germans did not make any distinction between new and rebuilt planes, the rebuilds were upgraded with new gear. The used planes were however found to be more awkward in use. They were unfinished. Some individuals could in higher speeds be held in straight course by constant application of vertical rudder. You had to throttle back as your leg began to shake and you were no more able to keep the pedal down. It got the worse the more speed you had. This kind of things. The planes used to veer to the right at takeoff and when airborne to the left. Products of the wartime, I say. Yet some 32000 of them were made after all."
- Kyösti Karhila, Finnish fighter ace. 32 victories. Source: Interview by Finnish Virtual Pilots Association.
Me 109 E:
"Absence of rudder trimmer is a bad feature, although at low speeds the practical consequences are not so alarming as the curves might suggest, since the rudder is fairly light on the climb. At high speeds, however, the pilot is seriously inconvenienced, as above 300 mph about 2 1/2 degrees of port (left) rudder are needed for flight with no sideslip and a very heavy foot load is needed to keep this on. In consequence the pilot's left foot becomes tired, and this affects his ability to put on left rudder in order to assist a turn to port (left). Hence at high speeds the Bf.109E turns far more readily to the right than to the left."
- RAF Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough handling trials,Bf.109E Wn: 1304. M.B. Morgan and R. Smelt of the RAE, 1944.
- Take notice: this RAE report seems to be the primary source of all the claims, that 109 needs foot pressure to fly straight. But RAE tested a captured and battle damaged 109 E, which clearly wasn't even trimmed correctly. As the 109 DID have a ground adjustable rudder trim, which was incorrectly aligned, making the plane sideslip. So far we haven't found a single primary 109 pilot source, which would support the RAE statement in general. On the other hand the Finnish ace Kyösti Karhila mentions the quality problems with the used 109 airframes - some airframes were so bad that they really did require foot pressure. This demonstrates that the problem could have been more about the quality of the airframe - was it re-built, used, poorly put together? - than a design problem."
"The usual reason for turning (when taking off) was that they forgot to lock the heel.
If you forgot to lock the heel, the plane began to turn when speeding up. When the plane was taxiing to starting place, the heel was locked from the cockpit and you began to speed up. By pulling the stick you kept the tail in the ground until you felt in the pedals that the plane is responding to the fin. Then you let the tail rise and kept the plane level, until you took off. It wasn't difficult to take off, but if you left the heel to turn freely, the plane began to turn when speeding up, and the results were often destructive."